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US Electricity Use Declines, Says ACEEE

February 26, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

ACEEE Energy Manage

US electricity sales peaked in 2007 and have been declining modestly since then. Sales in 2012 were 1.9 percent lower than 2007 sales, and sales in the first ten months of 2013 are below the same period in 2012, according to a blog posting by Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

ACEEE conducted an analysis on electricity-use trends since 1993, particularly at changes in sales over the 2007-2012 period and found that no single factor can explain the change in electricity use over the 1993-2012 period. The factors that appear most significant were energy efficiency programs and policies, warmer weather, changes in gross domestic product (GDP), changes in electricity prices, and long-term trends.

Over the more recent period of 2007-2012, savings resulting from energy efficiency programs and policies, and from warmer winter weather, appear to be the most important contributors to declining electricity use in the residential and commercial sectors. This finding is consistent with the ramp-up of energy efficiency savings achieved from utility-sector energy efficiency programs, and from appliance and equipment efficiency standards that have taken effect since 2007.

The other possible factors such as GDP and electricity prices did not change very much over the last six years and therefore do not appear to have had a significant effect on the recent decline in electricity use.

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